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    Missed Miscarriage: Symptoms, Causes & Treatments


    Missed Miscarriage: Symptoms, Causes & Treatments

    Updated on 15 May 2023

    A missed miscarriage - or a silent or delayed miscarriage - is a type of miscarriage in which a woman may not realize that her pregnancy was terminated. It can be a confusing and an emotional experience for a woman, as she may still have specific symptoms of pregnancy and may not know what is happening to her body. There are multiple missed miscarriage causes. Women need to be aware of the symptoms, causes, and signs of missed miscarriages so they can seek appropriate care.

    What is a Missed Miscarriage?

    A missed miscarriage, also known as a silent or delayed miscarriage, is a type of miscarriage in which the foetus is not alive anymore but the carrier is not aware of it. It can occur when the foetus dies in the uterus, but the body does not recognize the loss and the pregnancy continues to progress as normal. A missed miscarriage can be difficult to diagnose as the woman may still have symptoms of pregnancy and the uterus may not have expelled the foetus.

    How Can You Have a Miscarriage and Not Know It?

    A missed miscarriage can be confusing for a woman, as she may not realize she has lost her pregnancy. This is because the symptoms of pregnancy, such as breast tenderness and morning sickness, may still be present, and the woman may not have any bleeding or cramping. The uterus may also not have expelled the fetus, so there may be no physical signs of missed miscarriage. Moreover, signs of pregnancy may still be experienced as the placenta may still be releasing hormones.

    Causes of Missed Miscarriage

    There are several potential missed miscarriage causes, including:

    • Chromosomal abnormalities
    • Uterine problems

    • Hormonal imbalances

    Symptoms of Missed Miscarriage

    The missed miscarriage symptoms can be subtle and may not be noticeable at first. Some common symptoms include:

    • Lack of fetal movement

    • Vaginal bleeding

    • Baby with no heartbeat at 12 weeks

    • Decreasing pregnancy symptoms

    • Symptoms of fetal heartbeat stopping

    Sometimes there is no fetal heartbeat but no signs of miscarriage, which can be confusing and distressing. In such cases, a healthcare provider may perform an ultrasound and other diagnostic tests to determine the cause of the absence of a fetal heartbeat and identify any other symptoms of fetal heartbeat stopping.

    Diagnosing a Missed Miscarriage

    Upon examining the missed miscarriage symptoms, a healthcare provider will perform a physical examination and may order a variety of tests, including:

    Treatments for Missed Miscarriage

    Treatment for a missed miscarriage will depend on the individual circumstances of the woman and may include:

    • Expectant management

    • Medication

    • Dilation and curettage

    What to do for a Missed Miscarriage?

    If a woman is diagnosed with a missed miscarriage, it is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible. A healthcare provider can guide treatment options and can help the woman understand the reasons behind no fetal heartbeat but no signs of miscarriage and what to expect during the process. It is also important for the woman to seek emotional support from their close ones during this difficult time.

    So, How Common is a Missed Miscarriage at a 12-Week Scan?

    Missed miscarriages, or experiencing the baby having no heartbeat at 12 weeks, are relatively rare, occurring in about 1-2% of pregnancies. They are more common in the first trimester, and the risk decreases as the pregnancy progresses. A missed miscarriage is more likely to occur at a 12-week scan if there are abnormalities in the fetus or if the woman has a history of miscarriage or uterine abnormalities.

    Will a Missed Miscarriage Affect Future Pregnancies?

    In most cases, a missed miscarriage will not affect a woman's ability to have a healthy pregnancy in the future. However, if the woman has underlying health conditions or uterine abnormalities, it may be more difficult to carry a pregnancy to term. It is important for the woman to discuss any concerns with a healthcare provider and to seek medical care before trying to conceive again.

    You may also like: How Soon Can You Get Pregnant After a Miscarriage at 5 Weeks?

    Preventions of Missed Miscarriage

    There is no way to completely prevent a missed miscarriage, as various factors can cause it. However, there are steps a woman can take to reduce her risk of miscarriage, including:

    1. Getting early prenatal care

    Seeking medical care as soon as possible after becoming pregnant can help identify any potential problems early on.

    2. Managing chronic conditions

    If the woman has a chronic health condition, such as diabetes or high blood pressure, it is important to manage it carefully to reduce the risk of miscarriage.

    3. Avoiding risky behaviours

    Avoiding behaviours that increase the risk of miscarriage, such as smoking and heavy alcohol consumption, can help reduce the risk of missed miscarriage.

    You may also like: 8 Steps to Help You Recover Emotionally from the Loss of Your Baby


    To sum up, a missed miscarriage is a type of miscarriage in which a woman may not realize she has lost her pregnancy. It can be a confusing and emotional experience, and women need to be aware of the symptoms, causes, and treatments of missed miscarriages so they can seek appropriate care.

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